LINE - A freeware instant messaging application
LINE is a free communications application for all kinds of devices, including smartphones, PCs, and tablets. One can use this app to communicate via texts, images, video, audio, and more. LINE also supports VoIP calling, and both audio and video conferencing. This app is supported by Android, iOS, Windows, and Mac. A number of interesting features and tools make it a good software for instant communication.
What are the key features of LINE?
LINE supports a number of features like instant chat messaging, VoIP audio and video calling, sharing multimedia, and more. It focuses on a younger demographic and its user interface is bright and colorful, with an upbeat zing to it. One of the key features is the Sticker Shop, where one can choose from a wide variety of stickers and emoticons while chatting with friends and family. LINE keeps the tone upbeat by introducing newer and more entertaining animated emoticons and stickers that people use as a means of communication. The casual approach to messaging works wonders for this app.
The software also has a Timeline to keep you updated about the moments in the lives of your contacts—a fun way to socially interact with people you’re connected with. LINE users get real-time confirmations of messages sent or received. However, there is also a feature where chats can be hidden and one can easily hide or delete chat history. This can be done from the device, as well as from the server, deleting the conversation entirely.
This messaging app has a pop-out message box, which you can use to communicate easily with your connections. Sharing photos and videos is literally click-of-a-button easy, and one can also share emoticons and stickers with the recipient. Sharing location and voice audio is also totally essential for messenger programs today, and it does this function very well.
One can have group chats of up to 500 people, which is more than what is permitted in the popular messaging application WhatsApp or VoIP programs like Zoom or Microsoft Teams. One can use the Bulletin Boards to post content, like, or comment on other people’s content. One can also post pictures, status messages, emoticons, and more.
In line with its target base, the app also has a unique feature called Snap Movie, wherein users can record a stop-motion video, and edit it to add background music available on the program. This is a highly-entertaining feature that is fun to use and share. Extra points for creativity and for providing a platform that lets users express themselves in the form of a stop-motion video.
Some interesting information about LINE features
LINE is a Japanese messaging application and is one of the most popular messaging and communication programs in the country. Apart from a simple messaging program, this also offers other services like a digital wallet called LINE Pay, a news stream named LINE TV, and digital comic distribution called LINE Manga and LINE Webtoon.
The Sticker Store is a unique feature, but what is most interesting about it is that one can purchase a number of stickers that are original and well-known characters. The stickers are highly relatable and add a lot to the overall experience of chatting. The purchase happens to an account that is connected to other platforms and can be used elsewhere, too. Pop culture icons are portrayed really well in the stickers, which include characters from manga, anime, gaming, movies, Disney, and Pixar characters. There are even some stickers from the 2012 Summer Olympics!
Games on LINE are also unique and not available on a lot of simpler messaging platforms like WhatsApp. These games are professionally-created and one can connect with friends, compete with each other, and send and receive “friend points.”
What are the best things about LINE?
LINE is not just a messaging application or program but also has a wide range of functions that are fun to explore and share with loved ones. The amazing sticker collection enhances the entire messaging experience, with real and virtually created characters that one can use for communicating. The wide range of pop culture iconic characters from movies, comics, books, virtual games, and other places really give a cultural and real-world connection. Especially in Japan, where gaming and manga comics are big, using popular characters to communicate is fun to do.
LINE Pay is also a unique feature that makes it easy to purchase additional features, stickers, and more on the app. The digital wallet makes payments easy, and the in-app purchases add to the messaging environment even more. The money in the wallet can be used on connected applications as well, which is a big plus.
What does not work for LINE?
While popular in Japan and parts of Southeast Asia, this app still does not have the appeal or integration as some of the other programs like WhatsApp, WeChat, Facebook Messenger, and more. Thus, switching from these common messaging programs to this is a big hurdle—and there are not enough people who are willing to easily make the change. Also, a lot of the stickers and features are relatable if there is a cultural context, but for people not aware or interested in the pop culture references, the feature is like just any emoticon.
As compared to LINE, WhatsApp does have its limitations—in the sense that it is more straightforward, with lesser fun features (games, manga, timelines, etc.)—but LINE loses out because of its lesser reach and user adoption.
Now with artificial intelligence integration
OpenAI's ChatGPT API, the most popular and widely used artificial intelligence-based chatbot, can now be enjoyed within the LINE app. Nicknamed AI Chat-kun, the integration allows its users to enjoy the full-fledged version of the chat service without having to leave the app. Users can send in almost any command—from writing 3000-word essays, asking for advice, creating a travel itinerary, crafting email templates, looking up recipes, and so much more.
While a majority of LINE users are Japanese, the ChatGPT feature is only available in English and optimized for PCs—thus, non-English speakers and mobile users might encounter a few difficulties using the integrated AI service.
Should you use LINE?
As a fun communication application, one can surely get LINE to try it out for its amazing sticker collection, the Live TV feature, or just the friendly UI—but then you’ll also have to convince enough other people to get on board to start communicating with. This program is really popular in Japan and parts of Southeast Asia, but it is yet to capture a large market elsewhere, which is a big limitation for anyone thinking about using this as their primary messaging app like how they use Whatsapp, for instance.